Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Protecting Hoboken from flooding

Official release
Hi MSV,

My wife Alyse and I have lived in Hoboken for 26 years. Alyse is a public school teacher, and I am the owner of the furniture and kitchen store, Battaglia's Home, on Willow Avenue.  We have witnessed the evolution of Hoboken first hand, and we know what is required to lead this wonderful city into the future. For this reason, we are enthusiastically supporting Ravi Bhalla to be our next Mayor of Hoboken.

Our next Mayor will be tasked with protecting Hoboken from various types of flooding, including potential storm surge events. Ravi Bhalla has proven that he's up for the task. Unfortunately, like many Hoboken residents, we have first-hand experience with flooding. The day after Superstorm Sandy, which devastated large numbers of homes and businesses in Hoboken, I arrived at our store to find doors pushed off the hinges, floating furniture, and much more damage that took weeks just to clean up. While we bounced back after many years of financial hardship, the storm underscores the vulnerability of coastal cities like Hoboken.

Fortunately, with Ravi's steadfast support on the Council, Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her team applied for and won $230 million in funds through the Rebuild by Design competition to creatively protect Hoboken from major storm surge events. When Mayor Zimmer needed someone to take a leadership role and co-chair the Rebuild by Design advisory group to work with the diverse elements within our community and solicit important feedback, Ravi agreed to step up to the task. As a member of the advisory group, I can attest to Ravi's work in attending meetings, communicating directly with various resident groups, and going above and beyond to ensure that the community's input was heard as the project moved forward. Thanks to the hard work of Ravi and the other members of the advisory group, we are a quarter billion dollars closer to being on our way to protecting our City from future storm events.

In addition to advocating for long term protection from coastal storm surge, Ravi was one of the leaders on the Council advocating for our new H-5 flood pump, which helps protect Northwest Hoboken from heavy rain events. Ravi was also a reliable partner with Mayor Zimmer to ensure that our resiliency parks moved forward in Southwest Hoboken, at 7th and Jackson, and in the City's northwest, all three of which are being designed with underground storage capacity to withhold rainwater and reduce local flooding.

Ravi's understanding of the importance of protecting Hoboken from another devastating flood
 event is just one of the many reasons we have decided to support him for mayor. We believe Ravi has the skills and experience to be the leader Hoboken needs moving forward, and we hope you will consider supporting him as well.

Sincerely,
Alyse and Brian Battaglia